Thailand’s Automotive Industry Recovers and Prepares for Export Growth

Thailand is ASEAN’s Automotive Hub, with the largest vehicle assembling capacity and the highest quality parts manufacturing capability of any nation in the region.Rebounding from last year’s flood crisis, Thailand’s hard-hit automotive industry including auto parts and accessories sees potential growth in the export market through increased production and innovation.Manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota and Chevrolet have been rapid in their recovery, which is ultimately improving investment and demands from the global economy.Innovation and New Product Development As there has been speedy growth, new products are being launched by car-makers with attention towards Eco-friendly or hybrid cars in support of Thailand to be an Eco-car production powerhouse. The top 5 companies taking part in this initiative are Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan and Mitsubishi.Current popular hybrid or Eco-cars are:• Nissan March
• Honda Brio
• Suzuki Swift
• New Honda Jazz hybridAlso just recently this year, Mitsubishi launched its first and new global compact car – the Mirage with were exported to Japan in July this year and then to the ASEAN, European and other markets successively.Auto-partsThere are approximately 1,800 automotive parts suppliers in Thailand, of which about 700 are available as OEMs.For exports, the auto-parts industry is a bit tricky and difficult. Many automotive manufacturers in Thailand already have exclusive contracts with their customers and cannot produce for their competitors also. Also small manufacturers cannot cope with large and specialized orders.However, the Thai Department of Trade, just this year hosted the Thailand Auto Parts & Accessories 2012 (TAPA 2012) trade fair featuring auto parts & components (OEM/REM), auto accessories, petroleum /lubricants/maintenance products, tools & machines and even vehicles focused on promoting items to buyers and importers from around the world.Some of the major products and services that were on displays included:• Fuel injection pumps
• Transmissions
• Injection nozzles
• Anti-lock braking systems
• Electronic systems to support mold and die technology
• Research & development Centers
• ECUs, sonar and central locking systemsSome StatisticsAt the beginning of 2012 (between January to March), Thailand’s automotive industry produced close to 191,000 auto units of which 47% were exported to Japan, ASEAN, US and European markets. Of the automobiles, the majority of the cars produced were double cab pickups followed by passenger cards. The SUVs were the least produced and exported this year so far.In regards to the OEM auto-parts, the exports valued up to over US 36.6 million Dollars in January.Looking at the trend since 2005 and expected export till 2015, sales have been progressively increasing, except for 2009 and 2011 due to economical and flood crisis during those years.

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Automotive Repair Is Inevitable, But These Tricks Can Help

Automotive repair is inevitable, even for newer cars with less mechanical issues. For those who own older cars, routine maintenance is vital in avoiding major automotive repairs. Once a major part or system in the vehicle needs repairs, it could costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get back on the road again.A good way to avoid expensive automotive repairs is to have a trusted mechanic who is familiar with your car. Having a good mechanic on your side can be very helpful when it comes to regular maintenance because they are familiar with your car’s needs and can provide good preventative maintenance. Good preventative maintenance can help prevent a major breakdown. Furthermore, your repairs might be a little less expensive if there is a breakdown because a regular mechanic can more easily figure out the cause. There are many different automotive repair shops you can choose from and finding a mechanic shouldn’t be that difficult. However, finding a trustworthy mechanic’s shop that can do quality work is key. There are a few techniques and tips you can employ in order to find a good mechanic.The most important thing to remember when looking for a good mechanic to perform affordable quality work is to never wait until you have a vehicle breakdown to find an auto mechanic. This is one of the biggest mistakes a vehicle owner can make because in the event of a major breakdown, they panic and simply hire the first mechanic they find in the phonebook or online to diagnose and fix the vehicle. Many times, the repairs can cost more because the vehicle owner does not have the time to shop around for an affordable mechanic. If you look for a mechanic ahead of time, you are more likely to find one who is both skilled and more affordable. Finding a mechanic through word-of-mouth recommendations is one of the best ways to find a good mechanic. If you have a friend with a older car that runs well, you can find out who their mechanic is to begin the search for an auto repair shop. If you cannot find an auto repair shop through direct word-of-mouth recommendations, you can check you local listings online. Searching online can be helpful because mechanic listings online will also include customer reviews that will give you a better idea of who well that particular shop or mechanic can service your car.You can also educate yourself on automotive repair in order to avoid major problems and to have more knowledge on automotive repair. Automotive education can help you to better understand preventative car care needs in order to avoid major repairs. Furthermore, when you take your car to a mechanic for servicing you will have the advantage of knowing if the mechanic is credible, simply by knowing what type of issues your car has.Automotive repair can be expensive, but some of this expense can be avoided if you have a good mechanic that can perform regular preventative maintenance.

Automotive Service Technicians Go High-Tech

By the year 2000, there were about 217 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., traveling 2.5 trillion miles, and consuming 160 billion gallons of gasoline. In light of these figures from the Center for Automotive Research, how could you not consider a career in the ever-expanding automotive industry?Need more convincing? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automotive service technicians held about 803,000 jobs in 2004, and demand for technicians will only increase as the number of multi-car families continues its upward trend.And, median hourly earnings of automotive service technicians, including commission, are $15.60 (the highest 10 percent earn more than $26.22 per hour). In addition, many experienced technicians receive a commission related to the labor cost, and employers often guarantee commissioned technicians a minimum weekly salary.So the growth of the automotive service profession is not surprising — today’s technicians are high-tech professionals, working on complex vehicles with global positioning systems, Internet access, and alternate-fuel systems. Their work goes beyond traditional repairs and involves inspecting, maintaining, and repairing automobiles with electronic as well as traditional hand tools.
Since cars are more computer-controlled than ever before (according to the Center for Automotive Research, the average vehicle contains between 40 and 50 microprocessors), automotive service technicians need the intensive career preparation offered by automotive service technician schools.The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certify a number of automotive service technician schools, which may offer general education courses as well as employable skills such as customer service and stress management.Certification is the next step after completing coursework at automotive service technician schools. Voluntary certification by ASE is the standard credential in the automotive industry. You can get certified in one or more of eight areas of automotive service, including electrical systems, engine repair, brake systems, suspension and steering, and heating and air-conditioning. If you want to become certified as a master automobile technician, you need to be certified in all eight areas.Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for those who graduate from automotive service technician schools and become certified. Even through downturns in the economy, the effects on the automotive industry are minimal.Rev up your high-tech career with hands-on training from automotive service technician schools.